A Spell of Rowans

Fiction - Literary
308 Pages
Reviewed on 11/04/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Spell of Rowans is a work of fiction in the fantasy genre. It is aimed at the adult reading audience and was penned by Byrd Nash. The book follows the Rowan siblings as they deal with the fallout of their mother’s death. Not a mother they will miss terribly, but one whose influence saw the siblings develop unique magical abilities which they must use to survive as a murder inquiry begins in which they are all potential suspects. As the police get ever closer to the wrong conclusion and the townsfolk their mother tormented begin circling around, their lives are complicated further by an old flame who knows the truth of their powers.

There’s a lot of heart in this story about three siblings recovering from the traumatic upbringing they received at the hands of their mother. While the three siblings have magical abilities, the human connections and sense of healing are fought for and earned throughout the story, bringing a real sense of wonder. A testament to Byrd Nash’s gift for prose is that in a fantasy world, the everyday human moments are the ones that feel the most magical. The Rowan siblings, particularly middle child Victoria, are well-considered characters who are easy for readers to bond with as they move forward on their recovery journey after a traumatic childhood. The subject matter of A Spell of Rowans is challenging, and Nash is wise to include a trigger warning in the blurb. But do not let that deter you as the subjects are treated tastefully and respectfully. This is a wonderful read that I recommend to all.

Susan Sewell

When the most hated woman in a small town dies a mysterious death, her three grown children must confront their past along with the rumors and innuendo while they fight to prove their integrity in the urban fantasy A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash. Rachel Rowan was a strong woman who didn't tolerate resistance to anything or anyone who stood in the way of her goals, strategies, or desires. Her husband Victor and three children Victoria, Liam, and Phillipa bowed to her tyrannical behavior in self-preservation. When Victor died, Victoria ran away under a cloud of suspicion and left Phillipa to deal with their mother. When Victoria receives the news her mother is dead, she returns to the family home. However, the town's residents view her and her siblings with suspicion and seething resentment. What evil things had Rachel been doing to the members of their community? Can Victoria, Phillipa, and Liam find a way to heal the wounds Rachel caused?

The urban fantasy A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash is a sensational novel filled with mystery, murder, and magic. Supernatural elements flow beneath the surface of the plot, creating an eerie sense of apprehension and suspense. Besides the spooky setting and chilling imagery it evokes, the story includes unorthodox magical spells, an evil villain, and uniquely enhanced characters. The Rowan family is unique, and their family dynamic is fascinating. It is interesting to see how they each overcome the current conflicts stemming from their difficult childhoods. Rachel Rowan was so evil it was hard to believe she allowed herself to die. No one that evil readily accepts death, and like her children, I kept waiting for her to reanimate. It is a shiver-inducing tale that is captivating from the first page until the last. The combination of the supernatural, murder, and intrigue create an enthralling novel that promises to bewitch everyone who relishes spine-tingling mysteries.

Jennifer Donovan

If you’re looking for a mystery filled with magic, look no further. A Spell of Rowans by Byrd Nash combines magical realism, murder mystery, and social issues surrounding child and familial abuse. When Victoria Rowan, who goes by Vic, wakes up the moment her mother dies, she knows she must return to her hometown where her older sister and younger brother still reside. She hasn’t seen her mother in ten years due to the mental and physical abuse she suffered, to which her father turned a blind eye. Each of the Rowan children is magically gifted: Vic is an empath, Philippa is the embodiment of charisma, and Liam has psychometry, allowing him to know the history and emotions attached to any object he touches. As they work to settle their mother’s affairs, they begin to unravel a tangled web of murder, blackmail, magic, and secrets, with their mother as the centerpiece of it all. To complicate matters, Vic’s ex-boyfriends, now an FBI agent and a hot-shot lawyer, are indispensable assets, no matter how uncomfortable their presences are for Vic. With both the police chief and his predecessor wholeheartedly against them and determined to link them to multiple murders, the Rowans and Vic’s former lovers must solve the mystery themselves.

I was thoroughly drawn into the pages as glimpses of the Rowans’ childhoods emerged and the plot thickened to reveal more and more of their mother’s sinister existence. Even though she is dead and she isn’t a ghost out to haunt them, her menacing presence is everywhere, as though she never left. Byrd Nash’s characters are well-constructed, and Vic is relatable. She is self-sacrificing due to the extreme guilt she carries for abandoning her siblings so many years ago in order to escape her mother’s grasp. Some scenes may be potentially triggering for readers—describing child abuse in detail and a sexual assault attempt—so it may not be the book for everyone, but I wholeheartedly was captivated by the story and highly recommend it. A Spell of Rowans will enchant you, and you may find yourself with a new respect for the emotions of others and the unique history of antique objects after reading this novel.